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Planet to lay off 10% of staff to focus on ‘highest ROI opportunities’

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Will Marshall speaks onstage during Day 1 of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018
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Satellite imagery company Planet announced on Tuesday that it is laying off 117 employees, or around 10% of the workforce, as it looks to focus on driving revenue amid an ongoing downturn in the public markets.

In a note posted on the company’s blog, CEO Will Marshall said the decision to cut staff came about after “a deep assessment of our business and spending.”

“Our business has scaled rapidly and continues to grow apace, but the expansion of projects has also increased cost and complexity, which slowed us down in some regards,” he said. “We are making changes to prioritize our attention on the highest ROI opportunities for our business and mission, while reinforcing our path to profitability, consistent with what we shared on our prior earnings call.”

Planet went public in December 2021 after combining with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPACs. Their public listing was part of a huge boom of SPAC IPOs, though most of the space companies that went public in this way have badly failed to hit their projections on revenue and other targets.

But Planet has been one of the notable standouts amongst this crowd, consistently reporting growing revenues that end up toward the top end of their projections. But operating costs have also been high, and the company has yet to achieve profitability.

“I want to be clear that I am responsible for the decisions that led us here,” Marshall said. “I know this has significant effects on the lives of our team and their families, and for that I am sorry. We do not make these changes lightly.”

Planet’s stock closed at $11.35 a share the day after it went public; yesterday, it closed at $3.75 a share.

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